“Shinn brings an array of fascinating characters to life and imbues them with purpose.”—Romantic Times
Dark Moon Defender
The Rider Justin is sent to the small town of Neft, so he can spy on the nearby Lumanen Convent where the Daughters of the Pale Mother reside. He quickly learns that Coralinda Gisseltess, the leader of the Daughters, is indeed persecuting mystics and the people who shelter them. Even more quickly, he falls in love with Ellynor, one of the convent novices. But the courtship is perilous in the extreme. Not only does Coralinda hate the king and the king’s Riders, but Ellynor is from the Lirrenlands, where women are not allowed to take lovers outside of the close-knit clans. If her brothers find out about Justin, they will insist upon a duel to the death...and if Coralinda finds out that Ellynor is a mystic, Ellynor’s own life will be instantly at risk.
Published in hardcover in fall 2006; released as a mass market paperback in fall of 2007. in fall of 2007. Cover artist Donato Giancola won the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist, though not specifically for this book.
Many of the details of this novel were cannibalized from a book I’ll never write and that had its origins in a short story I wrote for an English class in junior high school. The tale of the healer Maara comes from that book, as does the bit with Senneth’s necklace.
Another interesting fact: The original cover featured a Rider who looked much like actor Josh Holloway. (For a long time, that cover was featured on Amazon.com.) But everyone was a little nervous about how that might play out legally, so Justin’s face was changed. The original artwork is stunning and sold for more than I could afford at the 2006 ComicCon. While I was doing a signing in London in 2006, I met people who were friends of the couple who had bought the original artwork!
Saigon Kick’s “Love Is On the Way” and Tesla’s “Love Song,” both Justin to Ellynor.
My favorite scene:
Tayse’s proposal? Justin’s proposal? The rescues? Hard to pick.